The SME con­nec­tion

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - FRIK ELS

AC­CORD­ING TO THE sixth and lat­est SME Sur­vey con­ducted by World Wide Worx, ADSL has re­placed dial-up com­pletely as the In­ter­net con­nec­tion used by the 5 000 small busi­nesses in­cluded in the poll. Telkom in­tro­duced ADSL five years ago and fewer than 10% of small, medium and mi­cro en­ter­prises now use dial-up.

Says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Gold­stuck: “In 2005, the SME Sur­vey an­tic­i­pated ADSL would steadily re­place dial-up as the con­nec- tion of choice. How­ever, the speed of ac­cep­tance has been sur­pris­ing.”

ADSL is favoured by 63% – the same pro­por­tion us­ing dial-up five years ago. Sur­pris­ingly, de­spite pric­ing on par with ADSL and steadily in­creas­ing cov­er­age by MTN and Vo­da­com, 3G and HSDPA up­take among small busi­nesses – as the pri­mary con­nec­tion, it must be added – is only 10,1%.

Com­pared to prices in de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing mar­kets SA is still one of the most ex­pen­sive in the world. Apart from a max­i­mum speed of only 4Mbps avail­able, the monthly cap (how much data traf­fic a user is en­ti­tled to per month) im­posed on ADSL lines has long been a con­straint for SA busi­nesses. For ex­am­ple, in In­dia and Brazil a 20Gb and 50Gb cap will cost roughly the same as a 3Gb ser­vice in SA at R675. In Europe un­capped lines with speeds of up to 20Mbps can be had for less than that.

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